As part of the city’s 2008 budget, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan proposes acquiring the CSX switchyard and laying the groundwork for a downtown shuttle system. He made his recommendations to the city council Monday night. Kruzan says the million dollars for the switchyard would come out of the parks general fund, which has built up reserves over the last several years. Kruzan says the 22 acres at the southern edge of the planned B-line trail are a “once in a lifetime” purchase. The bike and pedestrian trail will follow the former CSX rail line, bought by the city in 2005. Kruzan says the city should not miss the opportunity to create a green space comparable in size to Bryan Park.
Kruzan also asked the city council for $300 thousand to support the purchase of a trolley bus. He says the bus would circulate downtown, connecting parking garages and downtown amenities. Kruzan hopes to eventually have at least two buses to provide consistent and predictable service. As the city center continues to grow, Kruzan says the trolley buses will be part of the answer to Bloomington’s downtown parking problems.
Kruzan says a standard bus costs $300 thousand, and hybrids are nearly twice as much. However, he says the city look into federal grants for an environmentally friendly system. Kruzan emphasizes that he is not proposing an electric trolley system of wires and rails, but rather fuel driven buses.